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How to Identify Canine Carpal Hyperextension and Other Common Wrist Injuries in Dogs

Carpal hyperextension and other wrist injuries in dogs can cause discomfort and affect their mobility. Identifying these issues early is crucial for prompt veterinary intervention. Here are some signs and symptoms, as well as potential causes of canine carpal hyperextension and other common wrist injuries:

How to Identify Canine Carpal Hyperextension and Other Common Wrist Injuries in Dogs

Signs and Symptoms Canine Carpal Hyperextension:

  1. Limping or Lameness:
    1. Dogs with wrist injuries may show a noticeable limp or may refuse to put weight on the affected leg.
  2. Swelling:
    1. Swelling around the carpal joint or wrist area can indicate inflammation or injury.
  3. Pain or Discomfort:
    1. Dogs may exhibit signs of pain, such as whimpering, yelping, or guarding the affected leg.
  4. Change in Gait:
    1. Altered walking patterns, such as a shortened stride or an unusual gait, may be observed.
  5. Difficulty Moving:
    1. Dogs may hesitate or struggle to use the affected leg for activities such as climbing stairs or jumping.
  6. Warmth or Heat:
    1. Increased temperature or warmth around the wrist joint may indicate inflammation.
  7. Visible Deformity:
    1. In severe cases, there may be a noticeable deformity or abnormal positioning of the wrist joint.
  8. Reluctance to Bear Weight:
    1. Dogs may be reluctant to bear weight on the injured leg.

Potential Causes:

  1. Carpal Hyperextension:
    1. Carpal hyperextension occurs when the carpal joint (wrist) extends beyond its normal range of motion. This can be caused by trauma, ligament injury, or developmental issues.
  2. Sprains and Strains:
    1. Injuries to ligaments or tendons in the wrist can result from trauma, sudden twists, or overexertion.
  3. Fractures:
    1. Fractures of the carpal bones or nearby bones can occur due to trauma or accidents.
  4. Arthritis:
    1. Chronic inflammation of the joint, often seen in older dogs, can lead to arthritis and stiffness in the wrist.
  5. Infections:
    1. Infections in the wrist joint can cause swelling and pain.
  6. Autoimmune Conditions:
    1. Conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints, including those in the wrist.

How to Identify Canine Carpal Hyperextension:

  1. Physical Examination:
    1. Observe your dog’s gait and posture. Check for any signs of swelling, heat, or pain around the wrist joint.
  2. Palpation:
    1. Gently feel the area around the wrist for any abnormalities, swelling, or signs of pain.
  3. Range of Motion:
    1. Carefully move your dog’s wrist joint through its normal range of motion to assess for any stiffness, resistance, or signs of discomfort.
  4. X-rays and Imaging:
    1. Diagnostic tools such as X-rays may be necessary for a more detailed evaluation of the bones and joints.

If you suspect a wrist injury in your dog, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly. The veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination, possibly including imaging, to diagnose the specific injury and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment may involve rest, medication, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgical intervention. Early detection and intervention contribute to a better prognosis and faster recovery for your dog. If you are interested in a Posh Carpel/Wrist Brace or have questions you can contact us via our contact form or visit our Facebook Page.

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